Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is a very decorative, fragrant, evergreen plant with beautiful silver-violet flowers, from which the world's most widely used essential oil has been made for more than 2,500 years. The name of the plant comes from the Latin word "Lavera", which literally means "for washing" because the ancient Romans used lavender flowers for a fresh scent.
Lavender has accompanied man since ancient times and made a deep impression in religious culture and mythology. In ancient times, Christians believed that the lavender plant was brought from the Garden of Eden. A myth has it that God gave them useful herbs to make life on earth easier for Adam and Eve, who were driven out of paradise. Among them were rosemary and lavender - rosemary for the preservation of the spirit, lavender for the enjoyment of the soul. Another beautiful Christian legend claims that the charming scent of lavender was given to her by the Virgin Mary herself as a token of gratitude for drying little Jesus' clothes on a lavender bush.
The ancient Egyptians grew lavender in the sacred garden of Thebes. The expensive incense of lavender was important for international trade and accompanied the nobles throughout their lives and also after death, since lavender was also used in mummification in ancient Egypt. In 1922, lavender remnants were found in Tutankhamun's sealed sarcophagus, the aroma of which lasted 3,000 years.
The ancient Romans used lavender to smoke their houses with a burning branch of lavender in order to protect themselves from insects. In Arabic medicine, lavender was used as an expectorant and antispasmodic.
Many ancient cultures believed that lavender helped cleanse the mind and body. In the Middle Ages, lavender was ascribed the power to take away the fear of the devil and witches, so it became a mandatory attribute in priestly ordination and was declared a sacred plant by the Catholic Church.
During the Renaissance in the 14th century, the noble women of Europe were already using the first perfumes with compositions that included lavender. The plant became a symbol of love, beauty and gentleness.
During the great plague in London, people tied bouquets of lavender on their wrists to protect them from infection and bacteria.
In folk medicine, lavender is used as an antispasmodic and to stimulate digestion. Lavender decoction is used for nervous excitement, neurasthenia, insect bites, burns, paralysis, schizophrenia, gas, gastritis, acne, insomnia, dizziness and headache. Lavender inflorescences also repel annoying insects such as mosquitoes.